Hurricane Sandy Provides a New Topic of Discussion for Presidential Candidates

A mere six days away from the 2012 Presidential Elections, Hurricane Sandy strikes the northeast coast, providing a new campaign for candidates Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.

The hurricane has claimed 39 lives as of October 30 and left destruction in its path. Both presidential candidates are making sure to speak out about the natural disaster, letting the residents effected by Sandy know they care. Or at least making themselves out to seem like they care.

President Obama didn’t hesitate to show compassion this week when visiting New Jersey and New York. His concern appears genuine, similar to that of the 2012 tornado that destroyed Tuscaloosa, Ala. There are claims that his visits to the northeastern states hit by Sandy are a new addition to his campaign fro re-election. 

Personally, I believe the President’s sympathy and consideration is the real deal, though it probably does help his campaign. Nonetheless, as President of the United States, Obama is simply doing his job as the leader of our country. The fact that he is also speaking today with New Jersey’s republican governor, Chris Christie, instead of using the air time to campaign shows gumption and authentic care for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Mitt Romney, on the otherhand, is spending the remaining days of his campaign in Florida, the most divided state.

 

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Jose Antonio Vargas to visit The University of Alabama at Birmingham, ‘Let’s Talk Immigration’

An undocumented immigrant, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas speaks up about the recently implemented Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act on Oct. 30 from 7-9 p.m. at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

The act, also referred to as HB 56, was passed by the Alabama Legislature on June 2, 2011 and was signed into law by Governor Robert Bentley on June 9, 2011. Having faced much opposition over the past year, the law has received criticism on its effectiveness. The law is said to:

  • Enforce undocumented immigration laws
  • Allow police to check ID’s for immigration status
  • Checks immigration status for receiving benefits
  • Looks into the immigration status of employees in state-wide businesses

While the provisions of the law seem harmless and somewhat fair given the taxes citizens pay that undocumented workers and immigrants don’t pay, HB 56 is called an embarrassment for the state of Alabama . To a certain extent, I agree and here’s why:

  1. HB 56 leads to racial profiling. A person of a certain race is not necessarily illegal just because they look foreign. Granting law enforcement the ability to pull over any person based on their ethnicity only perpetuates the bad rap the state of Alabama already has for racial discrimination.
  2. The law distracts police officers from their responsibility of protecting society. If our law enforcement is out searching for undocumented immigrants, who is fighting crime and upholding justice? Sadly, “super heros” don’t exist. Police officers are the real super heros.
  3. If undocumented workers willing to perform unpopular, manually laborious jobs are deported, who will take over? Men and women immigrants of all races who have yet to obtain legal status in the United States are not taking any of the positions being fought for, so why get mad? It’s frustrating hearing U.S. citizens say, “They’re taking all of our jobs,” when in reality, they’re taking the jobs nobody wants. If anything, U.S. citizens should appreciate undocumented workers’ efforts.

Vargas’ speech on HB 56 in the Alumni Auditorium at UAB’s Hill Center should be interesting and will allow Alabamians to see a different perspective, on of an openly undocumented immigrant.

 

Round Two of the 2012 Presidential Debate

Tonight President Barack Obama and republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney go for round two of their tete-a-tete in the 2012 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University in Hampstead, New York.

The two presidential candidates will address foreign and domestic questions from undecided United State citizens. President Obama needs to pick up his game during tonight’s debate to make up for his big flop two weeks ago.

Here’s the first 2012 Presidential Debate:

First 2012 Presidential Debate

Never too Young

The Bryant Conference Center at The University of Alabama hosted the 13th annual National Outreach Scholarship Conference themed “Partner. Inspire. Change.” Sept. 30-Oct. 3, bringing together universities and communities from all over the country.

The event was a great way to showcase the way local and national communities have come together to better their homes. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend one speech, but Dr. George Daniels, my reporting and writing across media professor, was able to attend several speeches.

As an active member of the Tuscaloosa community, Dr. Daniels watched several of his students, both past and present, display their hard work and dedication to changing the community at the NOSC 2012. Knowing that young children are already working to better the place they call home is a comforting thought for the future.

Although I was unable to attend the majority of the festivities, I was able to hear one discussion on “Engaging Youth, Engaging Neighborhoods” given by Notre Dame faculty member Maria McKenna, three Tennessee high school students and Thomas Davis in the Wilson room of the Bryant Conference Center. The discussion was slightly dry, but seeing HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS impacting their hometown’s government was inspirational.

Seeing such young people influencing their community makes me realize that at the old age of 21, I, too, may change the world around me. I don’t need to be a high powered, authority figure to make a difference.

Having the courage, confidence in one’s own ability and volition to see a problem and fix it is the core to improving a community, even the world. THAT is beautiful.

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